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Adults at risk

Advice for Adults and Carers

(Written by Together Active in partnership with Ann Craft Trust)

The best way to make sure an activity or sports club is right for you or an adult you are caring for/supporting is to attend and observe a session. Try and speak to staff, coaches and other participants. Try and have a look around the facilities and see whether the environment is suitable before making a decision. For example:

  • Does it feel safe? How safe, accessible and suitable is the activity provider or sports club for you or the person you are caring for/person you are supporting?
  • Do the participants look happy?
  • Can adaptations be made? Think about speaking to a member of staff at the session to establish if adaptations are needed to the activity for the participant to get involved and are the staff willing/able to be flexible, adapt, and have the appropriate equipment to do so etc.

If you are caring for someone/providing support for someone, ensure that you go to the club together and involve them in any discussion and decisions. Their views on how they feel and what they want to do is paramount.

Any good activity provider or sports club should have certain things in place to make sure they’re taking care of their participants during sessions, practices and any away dates and competitions.

You should feel confident asking an activity provider or sports club about any of the points below.

Remember: you have a right to know these things and any good activity provider or sports club will be happy to let you know what they have in place.


Quick Checklist:

Every activity provider or sports club should:

  • Give you the name of their safeguarding officer/welfare officer and how to contact them/talk to them if you have any concerns.
  • Let you see their policies and procedures on how they deal with any concerns raised about poor practice or abuse.
  • Have a Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures. This may be part of a wider safeguarding document; however, they should have policies and procedures to protect adults who have care and support needs/who may be more at risk of abuse.
  • Show you written standards for good practice, such as a code of conduct for staff
  • Ask you to provide essential medical and personal contact information in case of emergency, and get your consent to participate.
  • Be able to let you know about the types of things they do to make sure their staff are safe to work with their participants. For example, have the staff been on any specialist training to help support participants with a specific need? Ensure you make all staff aware if you or the person you care for/are supporting have any specific needs.
  • Have all eligible staff had a DBS check? What other safe recruitment procedures are in place? E.g. references.

Other considerations:

Does the activity or sports club have staff onsite that are first aid trained?


Remote Teaching and Online Coaching:

(Some guidance below has been adapted by Together Active for adults and from content available from the CPSU)

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, sports clubs and activities provider have had to cancel sessions and are looking at how they can stay in touch with their teams and club members during this time.

For all online teaching and coaching, the following questions should have been considered by your sports club or activity provider:

  • Does your sports club or activity provider have an online safety policy and an acceptable use statement? These should include the use of social media for staff and participants.
  • Do they get specific/separate consent for participants to take part in online activities?
  • Is there clarity as to where any online information/activity will be shared?
  • Does your sports club or activity provider have specific procedures to follow in the event of concerns arising during online interaction, for example between a coach and an adult with care and support needs/adult at risk? These can be linked directly to their safeguarding procedures but need to be clear and accessible.
  • Do all those participants using, or likely to use, online coaching know what the codes of conduct are for these environments? Does the activity provider or sports club have a process for signing up to these online?
  • What is the process for addressing concerns raised, such as instances of misconduct online, and how do these work during the current pandemic?
  • Consider the platform that is being used. Are privacy and confidentiality settings appropriate?

Adults at risk